Thursday is kind of a reset day for Fantasy Baseball. Many of the teams are off for travel, though that was less true this week than most, with 10 games Thursday. Still, it wasn't the most eventful day in Fantasy baseball history, with few standout performances from low-roster-rate players and, thankfully, few significant injuries of note.

So, while we'll get to the injuries and recap stuff in the rest of today's newsletter as we normally do, we're also going to turn our attention to the upcoming weekend's games, as we've been doing every Friday. I've got 18 pitchers to watch from this weekend's games, including a few you could even consider streaming if you're adventurous, plus a handful of high-end guys and what we need them to show us this weekend amid some struggles.

Before we get to all of that, however, a few things. First, I want to drop my email here in the intro, because I'd love to hear from you, dear FBT Newsletter readers. I've been meaning to do this more often, but there's just been so much news to react to this season that, a month in, we haven't even done a mailbag yet. I'm going to change that this weekend, so feel free to send your questions to to be included. 

You can send your questions about trades or rankings – though you may find the answers you're looking for in my Week 5 Trade Values Chart here, or Scott White's Rankings Movers column from Wednesday, so check those out first. But I'd also love to hear your thoughts on the newsletter, too. What about our coverage you've enjoyed, what you'd like to see more of, and what you haven't seen any of that you think might help make you a better Fantasy player.

Because that's what I'm here for! It's why you signed up, and it's why I'm writing this thing five days week! So, I'd love to hear from you, whether you've got a burning trade question, need some help with an underperforming roster, or just want to reach out.

And now that that's out of the way, let's get to what you need to know from Thursday, and what you need to watch this weekend: 

What to watch this weekend

We're about to hit the one-month mark of the MLB season, if you don't count the Seoul Series. Which is both hard to believe – it's been a whole month already – and still represents so little time – there are still five whole months left! 

Writing these weekend previews may get harder as we go along, because the sample sizes will get bigger, and player values will get more settled. But, for now, there's still plenty of players worth keeping an especially close eye, starting with the highest-end pitchers and working our way down:

Just give us a reason to be optimistic …

Pablo Lopez, Twins @LAA, Sunday – I'm not even close to lowering Lopez in my rankings yet, to be clear. His strikeout rate is still 27.4%, in spitting distance of his 29.2 career-high mark from a year ago, and his walk rate is actually slightly lower. He's giving up a bit too much hard contact right now (47.9% hard-hit rate vs. 34.8% last year), but I don't actually see too much in his profile to be concerned about. But I know a lot of you don't deal well with your aces scuffling even a little bit, so I'm here to acknowledge your concerns, but to tell you I don't share them.

Joe Musgrove, Padres vs. PHI, Friday – My general sense is to not be too concerned about Musgrove either, but he's not as good as Lopez and he had that shoulder injury last season, so I can't dismiss concerns about him quite as easily. His curveball, four-seamer, and cutter are all getting crushed right now, with an expected wOBA of at least .400 on all three pitches, which is a problem when those are his three most-used pitches. Musgrove's velocity is down a touch, too, which is all to say, his struggles aren't just bad luck. He's had consecutive quality starts in spite of that, though with just seven strikeouts to four walks, so we'd really love to see him put together a vintage start. I'm definitely more worried about Musgrove than Lopez, for sure. 

Tanner Bibee, Guardians @ATL, Saturday – One of the key questions with Bibee is why he didn't get more strikeouts as a rookie, and why that issue is continuing in year two. He has three swing-and-miss secondaries, but he tends to struggle to put hitters away, with just a 43.7% strikeout rate once he gets hitters to two-strike counts; that's 35th out of 68 qualifying pitchers since the start of last season. Which isn't bad per se, but Bibee sure seems like the kind of pitcher who should be better than average when it comes to strikeouts, and he just hasn't been. With mostly average-ish control and results on balls in play, does he actually have the ace upside we hoped was here? This is an especially tough matchup, and I don't necessarily think he has earned the benefit of the doubt for a start against the Braves

Hunter Greene, Reds @TEX, Friday – Green does so much well, and there might even be signs that he's starting to figure things out if you can get past the 4.55 ERA. He's generating his usual 30% strikeout rate and 9% walk rates,but Greene isn't getting hit nearly as hard as he has in years past, with his expected wOBA on contact allowed down to .287; it was .384 last season, while league average is .369. It has only led to one quality start so far, but it's a reason to be optimistic about another frustrating start for Greene. If he keeps the Rangers bats quiet? It might even be time to buy Greene. 

Still worth rostering?

Michael King, Padres vs. PHI, Sunday (95%) – King's 13.1% walk rate is a significant outlier for his career, but the thing we have to keep in mind when analyzing King is, this is really his first time as a full-time starter in the majors, so I'm just not sure how much his prior career performance really matters. His velocity is down about 1.5 mph so far, and his swinging strike rate is down to a rather pedestrian 10.8% mark. I think it was reasonable to take a flier on King coming off his success in the rotation last September, but I also don't plan on having an especially long leash with him; he's gotta start giving me reasons not to drop him at this point. 

James Paxton, Dodgers @TOR, Sunday (92%) – Similar to King, we're at the point with Paxton where he needs to give us a reason not to drop him. His velocity is down 1.7 mph from last year, and yet he's throwing his four-seamer more than ever; probably because his curveball is the only pitch he has with a whiff rate over 20% and his cutter is getting crushed. With just one strikeout over his past two starts, Paxton needs to give us a reason to keep him on our rosters once this two-start week is done. 

Jordan Hicks, Giants vs. PIT, Saturday (87%) – Hicks has always been the kind of pitcher who didn't necessarily need strikeouts to be successful, because he limits hard contact so well, but he's really taking that to another level this season, with just a 16.7% strikeout rate to date. His control remains mediocre, too, so at this point, he really needs elite quality-of-contact skills to thrive. His sweeper and splitter both have the potential to be good putaway pitches, but he's still throwing his fastballs 43.5% of the time in two-strike counts, which helps explain the lack of strikeouts. We'd love to see him start to put hitters away a bit more consistently at some point to justify a roster rate this high. 

Kyle Harrison, Giants vs. PIT, Friday (84%) – I just don't see it. Harrison has a pretty good fastball, but not such a good fastball that he can remain a Fantasy-relevant pitcher while throwing it 70% of the time. He's cut his walk rate all the way down to 4.4%, which was a major issue for him in the minors, but it's come at the expense of strikeouts, as he has a pedestrian 21.1% mark. Even as a flyball pitcher in Oracle Park, it's hard to see this approach working for him, as his 5.00 ERA (4.52 for his career) attests. Harrison had some prospect hype when he came up, and it carried him to a must-draft status this preseason, but through the first four weeks of the season, he hasn't given us much reason to think he's still worth rostering. 

Gavin Stone, Dodgers @TOR, Friday (54%) – I thought Stone had some sleeper appeal coming into the season, after he talked about how he had a pitch-tipping issue that led to his struggles in both the majors and minors last season. However, through four starts, he has just one with more than five strikeouts, with only 16 for the season, compared to 10 walks. His changeup remains a terrific pitch, but it might be the only good pitch he has in his entire arsenal, and until he shows something more than that, there just doesn't seem to be much reason to roster him. 

Logan Taylor Allen, Guardians @ATL, Friday (53%) – I thought Allen has some sleeper appeal heading into the season, but it seems like he's taken a step back, with his strikeout rate dropping form 22.2% to 18.6%. The biggest culprit there might be the shelving of his slider, which had his best whiff rate among his pitches at 36.8% last season; none of his pitches are over 31% so far this season. Seeing as he's still struggling with home runs and doesn't have great control, he really couldn't afford to lose a good swing-and-miss pitch. Until he fixes that issue, I don't see much reason to be excited. 

Time to buy in? 

Luis Gil, Yankees @MIL, Friday (64%) – Luis Gil is like a more extreme version of Edward Cabrera; he's absolutely unhittable, but it may not matter much because he can't stop walking everyone. It's an exaggeration to say "everyone," of course, but … not much of one, given his massive 20.2% walk rate this season. If he could just get that down to even 10-12%, he might be a must-start Fantasy pitcher, as he showed when he struck out nine and walked three in 5.2 innings in his last start. The problem is, it was the only start where he has pitched more than 5 innings so far. If he builds on that with another good start, it's time to get excited. 

Reese Olson, Tigers vs. KC, Friday (47%) – Olson followed up his best start of the season last week with a pretty midding showing against a very beatable Twins lineup, which halted any momentum he might have been building. The Royals are suddenly a pretty tough matchup, with a whole bunch of red-hot hitters who can make you pay for any mistake, and they now have the fourth-lowest strikeout rate against RHP to boot, so this is a real test. Olson's slider and changeup have been tremendous pitches for him, but his fastball has been too hittable to get to putaway situations often enough. If he can command that four-seamer a bit better, there's room for Olson to take off. 

Albert Suarez, Orioles vs. OAK, Sunday (12%) – I'm not sure how likely Suarez is to keep his success up, but I'm willing to take a chance on him almost entirely because of the park he pitches in and the lineup backing him. If he's decent at all, he could be a very valuable Fantasy option with the Orioles, and he might be a bit more than decent; he's shown very good command and a 93rd percentile whiff rate, while generating very good results on balls in play. It's all terribly small sample sizes, but if he has another good start against a great matchup, why wouldn't you pick him up? 

Keaton Winn, Giants vs. PIT, Sunday (41%) – Winn is going the "pitching backwards" thing, leading with his splitter as his most-used pitch, followed by his two fastballs. That splitter has done a good job limiting damage on contact, but can he really get away with this approach without more whiffs? Among pitchers with at least 10 PA against their splitter, only A.J. Puk has a lower whiff rate than Winn's 19.6% mark. Among the eight pitchers who have thrown at least 100 splitters so far this season, Winn is one of just two with a whiff rate below 25%. If he can start burying that pitch down in the zone and garnering more whiffs with it, it would be easier to buy into Winn. 

Jose Butto, Mets vs. STL, Friday (50%) – Where are these strikeouts coming from? That's the key question with Butto, who has struck out 21 in 16.1 innings after striking out 114 in 132.2 innings in his Triple-A career. His secondary pitches have been very good swing-and-miss pitches, but the four-seamer has been his primary strikeout pitch so far, with his whiff rate jumping from 22.7% last season to 32.4%. Without an increase in velocity, it's hard to buy too much into that growth, so we're going to need to see more success before I buy in. 

Mitchell Parker, Nationals @MIA, Saturday (40%) – Parker has little minor-league track record to back up his early success, but it is worth noting that, while he has a 4.15 ERA in his MiLB career, strikeouts were always a big part of his game; he had a 29% strikeout rate in 329.2 minor-league innings, but walks held him back mostly. He has yet to walk a batter in two starts, so that's going to be the key thing to watch here moving forward. Against this Marlins team, I don't mind him as a streamer. 

Bryce Elder, Braves vs. CLE, Sunday (38%) – Elder took care of that bad Marlins lineup in his first start of the season earlier this week, but I think that success was probably more about the lineup than any Elder did. I remain skeptical that Elder can be much more than a streamer, but let's see what he does here. 

Ben Lively, Guardians @ATL, Sunday (10%) – Whatever interest I have in Lively mostly stems from confidence in the Guardians pitching development staff. He has struck out 14 with just one walk in his first two starts, though he's done that while relying more on a kitchen-sink approach than any one or two killer swing-and-miss pitches. I assume the Braves are going to stop his hot start in its tracks, but if he succeeds again, he might require another look.